Surrounded by 13 seven and eight year olds I am reminded of the pressure of perfection. Today’s lesson: “Welcome to the Peaceful Palace”. Transforming our classroom into a safe space where they can reflect on themselves as complicated human beings.
Asking for new pieces of paper because their drawings are not just right. Questioning all aspects of the assignment in hopes that the result is that of being “correct”.
“Mistakes” so minute that to an onlooker ~ invisible as they are overtaken by the stresses vibrating from the student’s core. An explanation given that whatever they did in that moment is perfect, no need to change or erase, this is what they were supposed to do right now. Encouragement reigns in the form of letting go of that “hard on self” attitude and just practice self love and compassion.
The words that dance across the whiteboard describe our activity during these 40 minutes: “You are beautiful, strong, caring, sensitive, funny, shy… LOVE ”
~Welcome to the peace palace where we show silent respect for all those to focus on themselves.
~Come in and find a special space
~Draw a picture of yourself. Whatever that may mean, your interpretation.
~This is only for you… a secret between you and yourself”
When you are finished you may go into meditation. This is your time to just be.
For 30 minutes I watched quiet mindfulness arise throughout the classroom as small shards of perfectionism began to fade into the distance replaced by self acceptance. The interpretations of self in the form of pictures, words, and dedications to this assignment expressed to me MY true self. One to help students grow through activities such as these.
This space I share right now with these students is full of more power and positive energy than I could physically put into words. It is an emotion, so strong keeping it feels like a present shared between myself and these young minds. A moment in time that they remind me why I am here and watching them let go of the boundaries set on them– inturn allowing me to let go of mine .